A new study found evidence that physical exercise after learning something increases the chances of remembering the new information. However, the investigation determined that the amount of time between the learning process and the training matters to the long-term memory ability.
The research, conducted at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour and published by the Current Biology journal, involved the observation of people executing high-intensity workouts after completing a memory task.
Exercise, according to these findings, improves memory performance at a moderate level, since the body reaction to physical activity produces changes in the way brain storages the memories (including the newest memories, result of a new learning process).
The mechanism of the study
Men and women were recruited to take a memory test that lasts about 40 minutes. There, participants looked at pictures of objects located in different spots on a screen to later be asked about what objects they saw and where they were located on the computer screen.
The people under observation were split into three groups. The first one, executed high-intensity workouts for 35 minutes about 4 hours after they finished memory tasks showed a better outcome in memory retention. The second group practiced the high-intensity workouts immediately after the memory functions, while the third group did not execute any exercise. The method used was spinning routines in stationary bikes.
How exercise can stave off memory loss for decades.. The results of a lengthy Australian study @9NewsMelb on-air now
— Peter Hitchener (@phitchener9) June 10, 2016
The memory retention was analyzed when participants were asked to come back to the institute two days later to be questioned again about the information they received the first day, in the memory test. A brain scanner was used in this opportunity, to evaluate the brain activity and the patterns in the mindfully during the test.
Timing does matter
The group where participants exercised right after the memory business was the team with the poorest performance concerning memory retention. But scientists failed to determine the real reason behind this outcome, although they consider the production of dopamine and noradrenaline interacting with the brain chemicals related to the formation of new memories may not work well together.
However, not only this study but many others, state that neurotransmitters produced with exercise help the brain enhance memory systems, but these findings proved that timing it is important in this matter. Although we do not know the maximum period of rest between memory tasks or learning process and the physical exercise, 4 hours yet seemed to have a moderate positive effect on the memory performance.
Exercise In Middle Age Can Prevent Memory Loss Later In Life https://t.co/G6IcIRKQ53
— Rashmi Chaudhary (@rcrashmi) June 12, 2016
Follow-up studies will be executed soon by the Institute and its specialized researchers.
The institutional background on the study
Dr. Guillén Fernandez, the leader of the research, focuses on the dynamic nature of memory and its links with emotions and long-term consequences and is a principal investigator at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging and in the Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour in the Netherlands. The Institute is focused on conducting interdisciplinary research on language and communication, perception, action and control, brain networks and neuronal communication, plasticity and, memory.
The mission is to provide integrated research between the genetic, molecular, and cellular process in neuroscience and cognitive and behavioral analysis, considered as a complex system. Mechanistic Underpinnings and changes in neural structure and function are topics studied in the Memory investigation group. This kind of research also provides a lot of useful information to those studying Neurodevelopmental disorders and other neurocognitive issues, like Alzheimer’s Disease and stress-related disorders.
Source: Live Science